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Soccer wins for Cheverus, McAuley highlight opening weekend

Sports

Soccer wins for Cheverus, McAuley highlight opening weekend

While the 2010 high school football season began with a flourish (please see stories), the rest of the fall slate is also either underway or just about to start.

Here's an early glimpse:

Boys' soccer

The Cheverus boys' soccer team made an early splash Friday when it went to Gorham, one of the top contenders in Western A, and pulled out a 3-2 victory.

Junior Elliot Maker scored twice and classmate Nick Melville added the third goal, while senior goalkeeper Peter Pothoff made several clutch saves to preserve the win.

"It was a great win for us over a very good Gorham team," said Cheverus coach Bill LeBlanc. "Peter kept us in the game in the first half with 10 good-to-great saves. We finally started to match their level of play after about 30 minutes. We went up 3-0 with 12 minutes to go, but Gorham never gave up and came back on us with two goals in the final 10 minutes."

The Stags looked to make it 2-0 when they hosted Marshwood Tuesday. Thursday, Cheverus is home with Sanford.

Highly-touted Portland started its season with a roar Saturday, routing visiting Thornton Academy, 5-1, behind a balanced attack. The Bulldogs went up 2-0 at the half behind tallies from freshman Tony Yekah (assisted by junior Alan Tuyuishime and junior Brett O'Kelly) and sophomore Tim Rovnak (assisted by senior standout Fazal Nabi).

In the second half, Portland put it away as Nabi (assisted by senior Ralph Houanche), Tuyuishime (assisted by Nabi and senior Nick Rovnak) and Yekah again (assisted by junior Paley Burlin) scored. Senior goalkeeper Taylor Mannix stopped a pair of shots.

Portland faced a huge test Tuesday night when it hosted two-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough, which was riding a 37-match win streak (please see theforecaster.net for the game story and photos). Last year, in the semifinals, the Red Storm eliminated the Bulldogs, 7-2. Saturday, Portland visits Windham.

Deering is 0-1 after falling, 1-0, at Sanford Saturday. The Rams hoped to get in the win column Tuesday when they hosted Windham. Saturday, Deering goes to Massabesic.

Waynflete, due to the school's Outdoor Experience program, doesn't open until Saturday, when it hosts Poland.

Girls' soccer

On the girls' side, Cheverus also enjoyed a big win at Gorham, its longtime nemesis. The Rams have eliminated the Stags from the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, including last year's quarterfinal in OT, but this time around, Cheverus had the answers.

After freshmen Abby Maker gave the Stags a lead at halftime with a goal, Gorham tied it early in the second half, but sophomore Hannah Noonan came right back with a goal and the Stags held on to beat the Rams for the first time.

"I was very pleased," said Cheverus coach Dan LaVallee. "Most of the girls understood the significance of it so they were pumped. It was like a playoff feel. It made it even sweeter to win there. I hate that field.

"It was an extremely even game. Gorham could have won it. It's exactly what you'd expect. They pressured a lot and we had to hold them off for the last 35 minutes. I'd argue we played a better second half."

The Stags are home against Marshwood Wednesday and welcome South Portland Friday.

"It's a very even league this year," said LaVallee. "You have to show up every single game."

McAuley also got off to a great start, beating Portland for the first time in a long time, 2-0. Catherine Lake and Shelby Bryant had the goals. Sophomore keeper Molly Miller did the rest, stopping eight shots as the Lions won their opener for the first time since 2005 and downed the Bulldogs for the first time in Portland coach Dave Levasseur's nine seasons.

McAuley hoped to keep the good times rolling when it hosted Biddeford Tuesday. Saturday, the Lions play at Massabesic.

The Bulldogs have a tough test Wednesday when they go to preseason favorite Scarborough. Friday, they're home against Windham.

Deering won its opener, 2-0, at Sanford, earning a measure of revenge from last year's playoff loss to the Redskins on penalty kicks. Freshman Alexis Elowitch got the scoring started (assisted by junior Alexis Sivovlos). Sivovlos also set up the second goal, scored by freshman Cole Spike. Senior keeper Jen Lynch stopped eight shots.

The Rams are home with Gorham Wednesday and welcome Noble Friday.

Waynflete began its season Tuesday with a home match versus Old Orchard Beach. Wednesday, the Flyers welcome defending Class B champion York (please see theforecaster.net for a game story).

Field hockey

The Cheverus field hockey team picked right up where it left off. The Stags won 15 games and reached the regional final in 2009 and in their first outing of 2010, at Deering, they cruised, 5-0.

Junior Sarah LaQuerre had three goals, while seniors Taylor Witham and Emily Sawchuck (on a highlight reel dribble-through-the-defense-from-midfield maneuver) also scored. The inexperienced Rams, in their first game under new coach Marcia Wood, were paced by a 20-save effort from junior goalie Caley Presby.

Cheverus is back in action Wednesday, when it hosts Kennebunk. Friday, the Stags visit Massabesic.

Deering goes for its first win Wednesday at Gorham. Friday, the Rams are back home to take on Marshwood.

"We have very few girls on the team with varsity experience so I feel that it's going to take us a few games in get into the swing of things," Wood said. "I'm confident that we can compete, it just may take us a few games to adjust to each other and the pace of a varsity game."

McAuley dropped its opener, 3-0, at Thornton Academy. Junior goalie Jamie LaCasse made nine saves. The Lions host Windham Wednesday and play at Bonny Eagle Friday.

Portland had to go to defending Class A champion Scarborough in its first outing. Last year, the Bulldogs started the season against the Red Storm and lost, 12-0. This time was a little better as Portland fell, 5-1. Junior Raechel Allen (assisted by senior Ellen Taffere) had the goal and senior goalie Kathleen Dalbec stopped 14 shots. The Bulldogs play at Thornton Academy Wednesday and visit Windham Friday.

Waynflete opened at Freeport Tuesday. Saturday, the Flyers welcome Traip. Monday, they play host to Poland.

Cross country

Local Class A runners expected to start their season last Thursday at the SMAA Relays at Thornton Academy, but the excessive heat forced that meet to be canceled.

As a result, Cheverus opens Friday when it hosts Biddeford and Windham. Deering is home with Massabesic and Westbrook Saturday. McAuley (with Kennebunk and Sanford) goes to Gorham Saturday. Portland (with Bonny Eagle) visits Noble Saturday.

Waynflete's first meet is Friday at Yarmouth.

Golf

The golf season is underway and Class A favorite Deering is off to a hot start, downing South Portland, 8.5-4.5, and Scarborough, 13-0. Junior standout Joe Walp shot a 34 and a 33 in those outings.

Cheverus' scheduled opener against Portland last week was postponed. The Stags hosted Deering Tuesday. The Bulldogs opened at home with Scarborough Tuesday. Waynflete's first match was Tuesday at Old Orchard Beach.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net